19th Nervous Breakdown

Composers: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
First release: single, February 1966
Recording date: December 1965       Recording location: RCA Studios, Los Angeles, USA
Producer: Andrew Oldham           Engineer: Dave Hassinger
Performed onstage: 1966-67, 1997-98, 2005

Probable line-up:

Drums: Charlie Watts
Bass: Bill Wyman
Lead electric guitar: Keith Richards
Rhythm electric guitar: Brian Jones
Lead vocals: Mick Jagger
Background vocals: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Piano: Ian Stewart
 

You're the kind of person you meet at certain dismal, dull affairs
Center of a crowd, talking much too loud, running up and down the stairs
Well it seems to me that you have seen too much in too few years
And though you've tried, you just can't hide, your eyes are edged with tears

You better stop
Look around


Here it comes, here it comes
Here it comes, here it comes

Here it comes your 19th nervous breakdown

When you were a child you were treated kind but never brought up right
You were always spoiled with a thousand toys but still you cried all night
Your mother who neglected you owes a million dollars tax
And your father's still perfecting ways of making sealing wax

You better stop
Look around


Here it comes, here it comes
Here it comes, here it comes

Here it comes your 19th nervous breakdown

Oh who's to blame?
That girl's just insane
Well nothing I do don't seem to work
It only seems to make matters worse
So please

You were still in school when you had that fool who really messed your mind
And after that you turned your back on treating people kind
On our first trip I tried so hard to rearrange your mind
But after a while I realized you were disarranging mine

You better stop
Look around


Here it comes, here it comes
Here it comes, here it comes

Here it comes your 19th nervous breakdown

Oh who's to blame?
That girl's just insane
Well nothing I do don't seem to work
It only seems to make matters worse
So please

When you were a child you were treated kind but never brought up right
You were always spoiled with a thousand toys but still you cried all night
Your mother who neglected you owes a million dollars tax
And your father's still perfecting ways of making sealing wax

You better stop
Look around

Here it comes
Here it comes your 19th nervous breakdown
Here it comes your 19th nervous breakdown
Here it comes your 19th nervous breakdown
Here it comes your 19th nervous breakdown
Here it comes your 19th nervous breakdown
Here it comes your 19th nervous breakdown
 

 

TrackTalk

We had just done 5 weeks' hectic work in the States and I said, Dunno about you blokes, but I feel about ready for my 19th nervous breakdown. We seized on it at once as likely song title. Then Keith and I worked on the number at intervals during the rest of the tour.

- Mick Jagger, 1966


Yeah (I played the lead guitar on that song).

- Keith Richards, 1997


Intros were always very important to me. It was what grabbed you. It made you want to see what's coming next. I've never really hammered away at them. By the time the song's finished, the intro had sort of inserted itself into the process. In those days when we were recording, it was Nice song. How does it start? The first (riff) was probably 19th Nervous Breakdown. After that, the intros sort of became my job, to set the pace and set the tone of the song.

- Keith Richards, 2012

I played a small-bodied Framus on that one. Not the red Framus bass that I used a lot onstage around that time but the one with the brown and yellow stripes across it that looked like a humbug. It was semi-acoustic. Andrew (Oldham) or Keith said something like, Why don't you do something at the end there, some kind of a lick that will fill up the space between the vocals and the band? I came up with that Bo Diddley thing really, I just bounced the string with the top of my finger on the pickup, and ran my finger down the string. That is what created that so-called "dive-bombing" sound. Can't do it on guitars I own now.

- Bill Wyman


At the time Glyn Johns did a remix of the song which brought Mick's vocal out more, but Andrew (Oldham) rejected it.

- Bill Wyman, Rolling With The Stones, 2002


We're not Bob Dylan, you know. It's not supposed to mean anything. It's just about a neurotic bird, that's all. I thought of the title first - it just sounded good.

- Mick Jagger, 1966


It's alliterative.

- Keith Richards, 1966


Mick's always written a lot about (the other generation). A lot of the stuff Chuck Berry and early rock writers did was putting down that other generation.

- Keith Richards, 1971


19th Nervous Breakdown... is not very good, really.

- Mick Jagger, 2003



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